Communication Department News

Showing stories between May 1, 2012 and May 31, 2012.

Alumni in the news

Posted May 8, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category alumni

Department of Communication alum are working in all facets of the Communication industry. Congrats to the following recent grads on their new positions!

May 2012 BCMN grad Christine Nicholson has been hired for a morning reporter position at KXII-TV in Sherman. She begins her new position in June.

Kristy Phillips (MA, Communication) has been was hired by Heise Media Group in Bakersfield, CA as the company’s new Marketing/Sales Coordinator.

John Harden (BA, Broadcast Communication) is freelancing for The New York Times. Harden will be writing one science/health feature a month for the publication.

Aubree McFadden (BA, Broadcast Communication) has accepted a job as producer for radio station KLTY’s “Nightlight” show.

Sandy Kurtzman (BA, Communication Studies) has been offered a management trainee position with Sherwin Williams Paint Services Group in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Alanna Quillen (BA, Broadcast Communication) has accepted a position with ABC affiliate KMID TV in Midland as weekend anchor/reporter.
Felicia Bolton (BA, Broadcast Communication) has been hired as an on-air reporter at KOSA in Odessa, TX.

Decklan Miller-McGee (BA, Broadcast Communication) has been hired by SKY Helicopters in Garland as a helicopter camera operator/videographer, providing aerials for KDFW and KTVT.

Erick Fernandez (BA, Broadcast Communication) has been hired as weekend Technical Director for Univision.

Chloe Jamerson (BA, Public Relations) begins a position May 15 with The Richards Group, a Dallas-based PR firm and one of the largest independently owned advertising agency in the country. Jamerson will be working in Brand Public Relations for the PR division, Richards Partners.

Ashley Montgomery (BA, Public Relations) has been hired by TracyLocke to work in the creative agency’s Dallas office. Montgomery will be working with media planners to set up advertising buys.

May 2012 PR grad Kristina Kopplin has been hired by Social Compass, a social media marketing agency. She will be working as an Interactive Producer for the company.

If you are a graduate of UTA Department of Communication and would like to share info with us on where you are working, please e-mail


Communication students in the news

Posted May 8, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category students

Carl Esposito, M.A. in Communication Candidate, Select, successfully defended his Master's Thesis . His thesis is titled "Can political candidates use Facebook to influence real world outcomes? An analysis of uses and gratifications needs, online participation and offline outcomes on candidate’s Facebook pages."

Department of Communication graduate students James Dunning and Michael Agee presented a paper, “When ‘Oops, Sorry’ Isn’t Enough: Tiger Woods and Image Repair,” at the University of North Texas Student Conference in March.

Journalism major Monica Nagy will work at The Eagle in Bryan for 10 weeks this summer as part of the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Association's Butler Haas Minority Internship program.

COMS major Elizabeth (Bess) Alvarez, has accepted an offer of admission to the Master’s program in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Bess has also been offered a teaching assistantship (with a stipend and tuition waiver) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Graduate College Fellowship.

Each year the UTA Career Center names one student as a Distinguished Student Employee. Tierra Chatmon, public relations senior, was named the Distinguished Student Employee for April by Multicultural Affairs.

PREL student, Mark Melendez, is spending his spring semester in Spain as part of UTA’s Study Abroad program.

Public relations majors Patrick Jackson and Courtney Chipman spent the spring semester interning for the Director of Communication for UTA Athletics.

PREL major Terry McLennan landed a summer internship with Tarrant County chapter of The American Heart Association.

Jones awarded leadership scholarship

Posted May 8, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Kim Pewitt-Jones, Journalism lecturer, has been awarded a scholarship to the Society of Professional Journalist’s National Ted Scripps Leadership Institute.

Named for Ted Scripps, grandson of the founder of The E.W. Scripps Company, the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute provides journalists with tools to make local SPJ chapters stronger and continues to build that network of support for leaders at the local level.

Funding is provided through the Scripps Howard Foundation by Ted's sons, Edward W. Scripps Jr. and William H. Scripps, as a way to honor their father's memory. The institute will be held June 1-3 in Indianapolis.

Lecturer receives IABC designation

Posted May 8, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category

Lecturer Melyssa Prince has earned accreditation from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

The accreditation process entails being accepted as a candidate, presenting a portfolio of work that demonstrates an ability to research, plan, execute and measure communication plans, followed by a 4.5-hour exam. The exam is comprised of a four-hour written portion and a 30-minute oral defense.
“I was given a crisis scenario and had to come up with a plan of action and convince a panel of other accredited communicators that the plan was solid," Ms. Prince explains. "The portfolio and exam are evaluated by members of the international organization.”

“After a lot of waiting, I received the word that I had been granted accreditation status," she added. "I am very proud to have achieved the IABC designation.”

Instructors honored for service

Posted May 8, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Department of Communication instructors Sandie Idziak and Roby McEuen were honored for their years of service to the university at an employee recognition ceremony.


The event, held April 18 in Hereford University Center, recognized faculty and employees who have worked at UTA for 10, 15 and 20 years.


Lecturer Sandie Idziak has taught Speech Communication classes for 20 years. Specialist Roby McEuen has taught graphics classes at the University for 10 years.

Communication family growing

Posted May 8, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Congratulations to the newest members of the Department of Communication family

Department of Communication Assistant Professor Karishma Chatterjee and her husband, Matthew Cox, welcomed their daughter, Schuyler Pamlyn Chatterjee-Cox, at 11:28 a.m. April 15. Schuyler weighed 5 pounds, 6 ounces.


Department of Communication Administrative Assistant Paula Branen and husband. Nick, welcomed Claire Avery Branen to the family March 6. Claire weighed 6 pounds, 10 ounces.




Students gaining 'real world' experience

Posted May 8, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category students

This spring semester has been a busy one in the Department of Communication with students getting invaluable experience to prepare them for life after graduation.

Assistant Professor Mark Tremayne hosted a visit by his former student, Ann Arnold, morning anchor for KFDX in Wichita Falls. Arnold spoke to broadcast students April 30 on how to prepare themselves for careers in television news.

Public Relations students in Mindia Whittier’s classes are getting hands-on experience this semester. Several of Whittier’s PR students worked as student ambassadors for the PR firm, Strategic Image, to develop a public relations campaign on behalf of the Tarrant County Public Health Department. The campaign was designed to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables among college students. Students participating in the project include Christopher Bryan, Nicole Durham, Sarah Frost and Jasmine Moore.

Whittier’s PR Campaigns students developed Strategic Communication Plans for the national launch of a new product being offered by a company called Think Finance this semester.

Communication Technology students in Dr. Brian Horton’s Human Computer Interaction spent the semester working with local client, DigIt! Development, to create a unique, interactive website.

“DigIt! Development is collaborating with the City of Dallas to create 21 custom homes in the Cedars area of Dallas, just south of I-30,” Dr. Horton explained. “The class has created -- and is in the process of implementing -- a very unique user experience where potential homebuyers can customize homes online. The homebuyer is then able to print out a report that they can take to the bank without having to go through a Realtor.”

The City of Dallas has contributed $300,000 to upgrade the infrastructure around the neighborhood of custom homes. The Galleries on Hickory will range in price from $300,000 to $500,000.

The students have also collaborated with DigIt! Development to create an internet marketing plan for the company.

“Being the first of its kind and scale, the website is expected to generate a lot of buzz throughout, not only the DFW area, but also the United States,” Dr. Horton added. “I am very proud of the work my students have done on this innovative project.”

Students in Suzy Nead’s Group Communication class are hard at work on class projects benefitting many local non-profit organizations.

“Right now, groups are working with Cook Children’s Hospital, YMCA, Mission Arlington, The Moritz No-kill Animal Shelter, Package Brigade and a local senior center,” Ms. Nead said.

“The students’ service learning efforts include play days for children, letters and gifts for Americans serving overseas, gathering supplies for animals, and implementing programs for local seniors and children,” she added.

Communication papers accepted

Posted May 8, 2012 by Barrie Hill in category faculty

Department of Communication faculty members have had several papers accepted for publication in recent weeks.

Dr. Dustin Harp is first author on a paper titled "The Whole Online World is Watching: Profiling Social Networking Sites and Activists in China, Latin America, and the United States" recently published in the International Journal of Communication 6 (2012). Her co-authors are from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and the University of Texas at Austin.

"PR Practitioners' Use of Social Media in Crisis Planning," an article co-authored by Assistant Professor Shelley Wigley, has been selected for presentation at the PRSA International Conference, Oct. 14-16 in San Francisco as part of the professional development session "The Best of PRSA's Public Relations Journal of 2011-2012. Each year a sub-committee of the Journal's Editorial Review Board selects five articles that become part of the annual "Best of Public Relations Journal" competition and are presented at PRSA's International Conference, the world's largest annual gathering of public relations practitioners.

Dr. Wigley also had the paper, "Breaking News Coverage: A Comparison of Sources used in the Coverage of the Shootings at Virginia Tech and Tucson, Arizona," accepted for presentation at the International Communication Association 2012 conference in Phoenix.

Journalism Professor Dr. Erika Pribanic-Smith won Top Faculty Paper in the History Division's research paper competition for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. The paper was presented in March at the annual southeast colloquium in Blacksburg, Va. The paper is entitled "'Political Demagogues and Overzealous Partisans': Tariff of Abominations and Secession Rhetoric in the 1828 South Carolina Press."

Visiting Assistant Professor Dr. Mark Tremayne's study "Anatomy of Protest in the Digital Era: A Network Analysis of Twitter and Occupy Wall Street," has been selected for the International Communication Association conference this month.

Department of Communication graduate students James Dunning and Michael Agee presented a paper, “When ‘Oops, Sorry’ Isn’t Enough: Tiger Woods and Image Repair,” at the University of North Texas Student Conference in March.